Going to the party
Recently on a Saturday afternoon, my daughter called and opened with urgency in her voice ‘where are you’? That was quickly followed with her asking if I could take my grandson to a birthday party, which startedin30 minutes. I had such a lot to do that day, so said ‘sorry can’t do today’. All the while I’m thinking, this is not like my very organised daughter especially with such short notice. So, I asked why, it turns out having cut her finger while preparing dinner she had to go to A&E, and didn’t want my grandson to miss his first real party. More importantly for him was the fact he didn’t want to be the one not to turn up for His friend. This changed the perspective and the priorities for the day, the car turned and we headed off to pick him up for his party.
The Bible tells a story about a man who prepared a great party for his friends (Luke 14). The invitation was sent to friends and people he knew, so when everything was ready the guests were sent for. But the invited guest all gave lame excuses and wouldn’t come: one had bought some land and wanted to go see it, another had bought some new cows and had to check them over, and one got married. So, the man decided to go out and ask anyone along who would accept his invitation, which he did, until every seat at the table was filled.
In this story which Jesus told, the man holding the party refers to God, and the party is in His heavenly home. Like the original invited guests in that story, some say they know God and want to be in heaven one day, but then decide that they are too busy with other things that seem more important and choose not to accept God’s invitation. That invitation to go to heaven and eat at the table of God forever is open to us all, but only those who accept His invitation will get there. It is the most important invitation we will ever receive, so don’t miss out because little things, with no eternal significance, become more important.
Making excuses that stop us from accepting God’s invitation, even if we think they are really good excuses, will one day lead to that invitation being withdrawn meaning missing out on all He has prepared for us in heaven. This invitation offers salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Salvation is the central theme of the Bible, from the fall of mankind recorded in Genesis to the last word in Revelation. The Bible conveys the message of salvation in and through the revealed suffering of Jesus, which is why we celebrate Easter. It is through Jesus’ death and resurrection, the invitation to enter God’s heavenly kingdom is open to us all.
Even when we are grieved by various trials, the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 1.5-7, the way to handle these difficult situations is to know we are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation. The Prophets, Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and the Angels all knew the worth of our salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection, why is it that only humans have such little interest in the greatest gift of all?
Heavenly Father, thank you for inviting us to your place, to the heavenly banquet with Jesus for our eternal salvation. Help us to not let anything become more important than accepting your invitation today, in Jesus name, amen.